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2020 Book Review: Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Larry W. Phillips

Despite the belief Hemingway held that talking about writing was bad luck, I am no Hemingway. In fact, talking about writing is one thing I enjoy doing most. Sharing my experiences in the land of literature. I’m in a constant fluid-like state of shifting in attempts to improve my skills and grow as a writer. Before I could get my hands on a copy of this book, I had already flipped through a unique book entitled Stephen King’s On Writing. It is to date one of the few books I’ve ever read by Stephen King. Enjoying what I had read of that book, I wanted to find other books that were similar, authors sharing their expertise in the same field, and that led me to what I thought was the doorway of Hemingway.
The title was misleading a bit; it gave me the impression that it was a book by Hemingway, but it is a book of notes and thoughts by Hemingway and gathered and authored by Larry W. Phillips. It is still a recommendable book on the grounds it gives you insight into a writer, Hemingway, that changed the way English prose is stylistically. I learned a lot from this book on writing. For example, it taught me despite Hemingway’s belief of talking about writing being bad luck he himself in fact talked about it often.
I have enjoyed reading his published works, but the way he talks about writing is beautiful. The way he crafted his sentences and use of metaphors is brilliant in my eyes. I shall share a snippet so those of you whom may have not read this book can see for yourself what I’m talking about better.

Dostoevsky was made by being sent to Siberia. Writers are forged in injustice, as a sword is forged.

Ernest Hemingway on Fyodor Dostoevsky

I recommend this book. In fact, any ‘on writing’ books you can get your hands on read them. They’re a great reference guide and insight into the writer they’re the subject of. 


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.


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